Archives for May 2016

European sales 2016 Q1 small crossover segment

Small_crossover-segment-European-sales-2016_Q1-Renault_Captur-Peugeot_2008-Opel_MokkaThe small crossover segment is still the fastest growing in Europe at +30% and almost 80.000 additional sales in the first quarter of 2016. That means this segment is now bigger in volume than the midsized crossover segment was in the same period last year. The growth is fueled by new products, but also the existing models keep improving steadily, with just 3 models in the top-15 losing sales, and none more than 5%. The Renault Captur remains the best selling small crossover in Europe, but loses share as it grows by just 4%. The competition is closing in, as the Peugeot 2008 adds 10% to its volume of last year and leapfrogs the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka to take second place. Until last year, France was the biggest market for small crossovers, and the two French models benefited from their home market strength. Now they’re starting to gain popularity across Europe, including the UK, where the Captur is a top-25 player and Renault’s best selling model. A welcome success for the French brand which was almost decimated across the Channel just a few years ago.

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European sales 2016 Q1 large MPV segment

Large_MPV-segment-European-sales-2016_Q1-Ford_S_Max-Renault_Espace-Seat_AlhambraAfter years of steady declines, the large MPV segment in Europe is finally revitalized in the first quarter of 2016 thanks to an injection of fresh products. The Ford S-Max returns to former glory of leading the segment from 2007 to 2011, as it takes firm control again in 2016. The S-Max was the best selling model in the segment for each of the past 3 months, ahead of the Renault Espace, coming out of the very deep hole of its aging predecessor to be the fastest growing model in the segment with sales up almost tenfold. With both the S-Max and the Espace sacrificing interior space for design, it leaves you wondering what the added value of this segment is. There are now plenty of 7-seater alternatives in the midsized MPV segment, which are easier to park and more fuel efficient. I guess these boutique MPVs are doing exactly what Ford and Renault had hoped they would do: since they can’t beat the German premium brands with sedans, the MPVs offer the mainstream brands an out-of-the-box competitor which attracts those looking for something different than the crowd. That also explains why most Espace buyers opt for the top-of-the-line Initiale Paris version and why Ford is launching the Vignale luxury line on the S-Max and Galaxy.

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European sales 2016 Q1 midsized MPV segment

Midsized_MPV-segment-European-sales-2016_Q1-Citroen_C4_Picasso-Volkswagen_Touran-BMW_2_series_Active_TourerSales of midsized MPVs in Europe have been relatively stable in the last couple of years, alternation single digit growth and contraction, and the first quarter of 2016 is no different with sales down just one percent. That still compares negatively to the overall market, which grew by 8% in the same period. There is quite a shuffle in the ranking as a number of models has just been renewed while others are about to be renewed soon. The segment leader remains unchanged, as the Citroën C4 Picasso adds 4% to its volume and consolidates its position as last year’s challengers Renault Scenic and Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan lose 30% and 15% respectively and are out of the top-4. The Scenic will be replaced in the second half of this year, while the Sportsvan is probably cannibalized by the new generation Touran, which replaces them on the podium together with the BMW 2-series Active Tourer. The 2-series is the fastest growing model in the segment and even grabbed 2nd place in March at less than 400 units behind the Picasso, so it remains a force to be reckoned with this year.

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European sales 2016 Q1 small MPV segment

Small_MPV-segment-European-sales-2016_Q1-Fiat_500L-Opel_Meriva-Ford_B_MaxThe demise of the small MPV segment in Europe accelerates in the first quarter of 2016, as sales plunge by 20% after a 15% drop in 2015. Just one model shows an increase in sales (with the exception of the 3 sales of the Lancia Musa, a model that ended production in 2012), and two more lose single digit volume, while 7 models show double digit declines. This is partially due to a lack of new products, but also a result of cannibalization from small crossovers, the fastest growing mainstream segment in Europe. These are similarly priced and sacrifice a bit of practicality for less awkward design. The Fiat 500L gains market share with sales down “just” 15% and is now at 26% of the segment. The Opel/Vauxhall Meriva loses just 3% even though a replacement is due later this year. That new generation is being co-developed with PSA who will market a new C3 Picasso version of that same model. And to reflect the shift of interest by consumers from MPVs to crossovers, the new Meriva and Picasso will have a more SUV-like design, similar to the current generation Peugeot 3008 and the latest version of the Renault Espace.

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European sales 2016 Q1 Midsized car segment

Midsized_car-segment-European-sales-2016_Q1-Volkswagen_Passat-Skoda_Superb-Ford_MondeoAfter booming last year on the launch of two important new models, the midsized car segment still outgrows the overall market in Q1 of 2016, albeit only slightly at +9% vs. +8,2%. The dominant leader Volkswagen Passat loses a bit of market share, but the VW Group actually increases its stranglehold on the segment from 41,2% in Q1 of 2015 and 44,7% over the full year 2015 to 45,2% last quarter, as the new generation Skoda Superb is the fastest growing model in the top-10. The Superb surges from 5th place to the #2 spot, just ahead of the Ford Mondeo, which continues to improve and finally manages to outsell the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia, but not convincingly so, as the Insignia outsold it in March. Still, the Mondeo should be able to hold on to a podium spot by the end of the year, but it won’t threaten the Passat as much as Ford had hoped it would.

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European sales 2016 Q1 compact car segment

Compact_car-segment-European-sales-2016_Q1-Volkswagen_Golf-Opel_Astra-Ford_FocusAt +4% in Q1 of 2016, sales of compact cars in Europe grew at a similar rate as the minicar and subcompact segments, at half the growth rate of the overall market. The perennial leader Volkswagen Golf is still firmly in control despite losing 2% of its volume on last year. Its nearest competitor from a year ago, the Ford Focus, also loses a percent and is overtaken by the surging Opel/Vauxhall Astra, up 30% thanks to the new generation. That still leaves the Golf untouchable, selling more than the #2 and #3 combined, but at least the competition doesn’t sit still like in the midsized segment. The Skoda Octavia is kicked off the podium, which it has impressively held for two years. And the Peugeot 308 is closing in quickly, as it already did in the final months of 2015. The Seat Leon is surprisingly stable and stays ahead of the facelifted Toyota Auris, while the Renault Megane is the biggest loser of the top-10 and drops a spot as it awaits the arrival of the new, fourth generation.

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European sales 2016 Q1 Subcompact car segment

Subcompact_car-segment-European-sales-2016_Q1-Ford_Fiesta-Renault_Clio-Volkswagen_PoloThe highest volume segment in Europe grows by just 3% in Q1 of 2016, compared to 8% for the overall market. The Ford Fiesta, segment leader for the past 7 years is now under serious attack with sales down 4%, while the Volkswagen Polo adds 4% and is less than 3.000 sales behind after leapfrogging the Renault Clio and the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa. The facelifted Peugeot 208 is closing in on the top-4 as well with sales up 13%, but the big winner of the top-15 is the new generation Skoda Fabia, adding a third to its volume of last year, and passing the Dacia Sandero and Seat Ibiza for 7th place, despite continuous growth for the French-Romanian model. The Citroën C3 also gains market share and a position against the Ibiza.

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European sales 2016 Q1 Minicar segment

Minicar-segment-European-sales-2016_Q1-Fiat_Panda-Fiat_500-Volkswagen_UpThe minicar segment in Europe grows at half the pace of the overall market, at +4% in the first quarter of 2016. The two Italian segment leaders grow faster than the rest of the segment on average and boost their share from 26,4% to 29%, helped by the strong recovery of their home market so far this year. The Fiat Panda has overtaken the Fiat 500 to reclaim its leadership thanks to a very strong first two months, but I don’t think it will hold on to that lead until the end of the year, as the 500 has proven very strong, even though its facelift last year was only minor. The Volkswagen Up! loses 12% but holds on to its third place as last year’s closest rival Renault Twingo loses a painful 22% and drops to sixth place.

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European car sales analysis March and Q1 2016 – models

Opel_Astra-2016-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeAfter the March and Q1 2016 European car sales analysis – brands, let’s zoom in on the model rankings. The entire top-8 loses market share which means the Volkswagen Golf consolidates its dominance with stable sales despite the arrival of new competitors Opel/Vauxhall Astra and Renault Megane, while its nearest rivals are losing ground in March. The Ford Fiesta and Opel/Vauxhall Corsa both lose more than 10% and the Renault Clio drops almost 5%, while the YTD #2 Volkswagen Polo is down to 5th place this month. The Nissan Qashqai traditionally enjoys healthy sales in March thanks to its popularity in the UK, which sets it in 6th place, ahead of the Ford Focus and Peugeot 208. Helped by the new generation, the Astra is the fastest growing model in the top-20 and claims another top-10 position, while the Fiat 500 does so too for only the fourth time in the past 2 years and in fact since its modern rebirth in 2007.

While the Renault Captur stabilizes after its impressive surge in the rankings, the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka is passed by the Peugeot 2008. The Captur’s larger sibling Renault Kadjar improves to 29th place ahead of the Volkswagen Tiguan, Ford Kuga and the Hyundai Tucson which drops from 24th last month to #38 in March. However, the new generation Kia Sportage has moved ahead of them all into #24 and second of the segment behind the untouchable Qashqai.… Continue Reading …